A Saab Arctic Adventure

Spotted this one over on SaabsUnited, great find, pretty much sums up why I love Saab –  they always took things to extremes, nothing but perfection was good enough. Back in 2011 they treated a select group of global journalists to a full on Arctic experience, 200km north of the Arctic Circle, fantastic.

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Arctic experience, Saab style:

 

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The Highest High Mile Club Saab

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A few weeks ago I received yet another Saab to join the High Mile Club, this great 9-5 Sportwagon comes from its homelands of Sweden coincidentally.

It has proudly covered some 650,000 km that’s 483,891 miles since leaving the showroom back in 2003 with just routine maintenance and a load of enjoyable driving.

I’ll soon be adding this, along with others to the High Mile Club page and apologies to anyone who’s sent theirs in recently too – life gets in the way sometimes.

Nordic Nine Five

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Don’t know much about this gorgeous looking Saab 9-5 Sportwagon from Sweden, except it made me realise just how amazing they are. The white paint and graphite BBS 19” challenge alloys work so, so well together, and the fact that it’s had a bit of Nordic Tuning make it all the more appealing.

Images grabbed from Nordic Tuning Facebook, hope they don’t mind me sharing this stunning Saab.

The Swedish Collection. 9-4X Aero

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‘We are proud to present the new and exciting mid-size Crossover – the Saab 9-4X. It is designed with a typical Scandinavian approach to outdoor living and respect for nature. It combines more performance, better handling and greater responsibility in an extremely versatile package. We even invited two Big Mountain skiers to take part in its development. All to make sure that this car always performs at its peak. So if you’re keen to explore all the adventures of life, welcome to an inspiring new territory.’

Taken from the Saab 9-4X UK brochure.

Alongside the stunningly beautiful 9-5NG SportCombi, Michél owns another rare and equally beautiful Saab – a 9-4X Aero.

Finished in a deep, Crystal Red, and treated to a Hirsch 330hp upgrade, the 2.8 Turbo V6 has proved its worth when the snow starts to fall in Sweden. Michél says it’s a pleasure to own and drive and is an eminently capable crossover that still manages to deliver that hard to define Saabness.

On icy mornings, the remote start kicks the silky smooth V6 into action, whilst the interior with it’s soft black heated leather, electric seats and stylish dash manage to wrap you in supreme Saab comfort and safety.

As with all Saabs, it features some exceptional design touches including the electronic tailgate, ice-block headlights and blacked out B pillars reinforcing its aerospace heritage. It also shares a similar, full width tailgate light and badge design with the 9-5NG which really does look stunning in reality.

Michael says the 9-4X gets a lot of attention wherever he goes, and so it should. Yet again, it was a real privilege to see yet another rare Saab, tack Michél.

The 9-3s up next.

The Swedish Collection. 9-5NG SportCombi

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Whilst over in Sweden, I accepted a very kind invitation to visit another huge Saabist, Michèl Annink. He lives with his family in an absolutely stunning part of the country, surrounded by exceptional views, water, trees and Saabs.

We were warmly greeted with iced water, coffee, hot Cinnamon buns and spent a few hours talking about our shared love of Saabs, Michèl kindly let me take a few photos of his impressive collection and I’ll be featuring them in 3 parts.

First up is a Saab that I think we all hoped and prayed would reach every Saab showroom, and to me, possibly one of the most beautiful Saabs ever crafted, the 9-5NG Sportcombi.

Michèl owns one of the few SportCombis in the world and together with the support of his family, has worked tirelessly to gain road legal approval in Sweden.

It is clad in gleaming Arctic White with full Aero styling, a Hirsch exhaust system that sounds absolutely mind-blowing and rests on a set of 19” edge alloys. Purposefully lowered by about 40mm it also has a fantastic stance.

Inside, Michèl has retro fitted full Aero heated and vented sports seats together with a number of original Saab options and most recently, a high end touch screen navigation system.

Sitting alongside our (begrudgingly) hired Audi A6 wagon, there really was no comparison, the Saab oozed modern style and unique presence. It’s a Saab that demands attention.

Tack Michèl, it was great to meet you all and a real privilege to see this great Saab. Long may it bring you pleasure.

More about the unique 9-5NG SportCombi here and here

The stunning 9-4X to follow shortly.

Lights Camera Action

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Although the weather in Sweden was spectacular when we visited, I’m under no illusion about how bad it can get when it decides to change.

I noticed plenty of cars with huge spotlights firmly attached to their grilles, but I didn’t see many Saabs with them fitted, then these 2 appeared in the same car park, on the same day.

Both 9-5 SportCombis, I think they suit them well.

Made in Sweden

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I always knew there would be far more Saabs in Sweden than here in England, but I wasn’t quite prepared for their overwhelming presence, they seemed to line literally every leafy street.

What was so satisfying to see was that they’re still part of everyday life, hidden on Archipelago driveways and in secret Stockholm courtyards, shopping centre car parks and elegant cobbled streets of the old town of Gamla Stan.

I felt at ease in Sweden, almost like home, it wasn’t just being surrounded by Saabs, but everything they’ve come to represent – simple, refined style, understated and elegant, yet utterly modern and unique in a world of conformity.

These Saabs are an integral part of Swedishness, they remain a highly visible reminder of the exceptional, innovative design capability of the country and proudly whisper to every traveller ‘Made in Sweden’

I returned home feeling highly privileged to be part of such a great heritage – I’ll be back.

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